One of the most stubborn and common conditions seen by veterinarians is a recurrent staphylococcal skin infection or what is also called recurrent canine pyoderma. This infection can return even after having been treated with antibiotics and the symptoms go away. This antimicrobial resistance allows disease-causing microbes to survive exposure to antibiotics through gene transfer and mutation.
This increased resistance to antibiotics in the treatment of pyoderma poses a new challenge to vets to find new, effective treatments. Veterinarians are shifting their approach to treating bacterial skin contaminations, especially in regards to using select antimicrobials.
Cause of Stubborn Pyoderma
The presence of staphylococcal bacteria is not an uncommon diagnosis. Generally, this contamination is harmless and can be treated with topical antimicrobial shampoo therapy. However, other times it can result in a serious infection, requiring a multi-modal approach to therapy.
If your dog has been diagnosed with pyoderma, it doesn't mean they are continuously going to suffer from recurrent pyoderma. It could be an isolated event that is treatable and contributed to fungal germs, parasites, or even an imbalance in their endocrine glands. It is possible, your dog can be treated with antibiotics, and the contamination will never return.
In some cases, the cause of the pyoderma is more difficult to identify or completely eliminate, making the condition more likely to reoccur. Should the cause of your dog's pyoderma be related to genetic or environmental factors such as allergies, it is likely to return even after treatment. The reason behind this is that the circumstances which caused the original pyoderma are still present, and your dog's immune system cannot fight off the growth of this bacteria.
Factors That Affect Recurrent Pyoderma
While it is common for pyoderma to reoccur, some factors predispose your dog to continuously having to fight off the growth of the bacteria. One factor making your dog more susceptible to this bacteria growth is if your pet has a weakened immune system.
If your dog suffers from allergies, they frequently develop canine pyoderma. Allergies are going to cause your dog to scratch and itch. With scratching so much, self-inflicted breaks in the skin occur, which allows the bacteria to enter and start an infection. The constant scratching also intensifies the condition as it causes greater damage to your dog's skin.
If you have a dog breed with excessive wrinkles and folds in their skin, they are more prone to getting recurrent pyoderma. Whether the folds and wrinkles are due to the breed's genetics or your pet's weight, the affected areas of skin are apt to develop problems. The folds and wrinkles provide a moist and warm environment which typically leads to the growth of bacteria and yeast, another itch-causing pathogen. You may want to schedule routine antimicrobial cleansing and drying of these areas as a preventive measure for your dog.
How to Treat Canine Pyoderma
Once your dog has been diagnosed with pyoderma, they are often prescribed an appropriate antibiotic combined with topical antimicrobial shampoo therapy. How long the treatment will last depends on the severity of your dog's condition. If your dog has previously been treated for this type of infection, the antibiotic should be based on a susceptibility test to make sure the bacterial species has not become resistant to common antibiotics. The UTid+® In-Clinic Diagnostic test from VetriMax is a microbiology culture test that helps veterinarians properly identify the presence of bacteria and fungus, in as little as 16 hours.
Additional steps may also be recommended. Hypoallergenic shampoos along with hydrating conditioners can wash out a lot of allergens from your dog's coat. Along with allergens these bathing items can wash away dirt, and moisturize your dog's skin to relieve itching. These shampoos and conditioners can provide relief to your dog if they are suffering from environmental allergies. Shampoo containing sodium hypochlorite has been proven against multi-drug resistant strains of bacteria (see JAAHA publication on treatment of canine staphylococcal pyoderma).
Where to Find Treatment for Pyoderma
Vetrimax has over twenty years of experience providing products for animal health. Applying the latest ingredient delivery technologies, our products were created by experts and clinically tested to provide your pet's skin and coat with the best solutions.